The Oakland A’s had a scary moment early in their game on Tuesday.
In the bottom of the 2nd inning, a Chicago White Sox batter hit a 100 mph line drive directly back toward the mound, and the ball drilled starting pitcher Chris Bassitt in the head.
It appeared to hit him in the right side of the head, around the ear or temple area. He stayed down on the ground for a few minutes while the trainers attended to him, and the towel they held against his head appeared to be soaking up blood. Around three minutes later, Bassitt was pulled up and took a few assisted steps to the trainer’s cart to be driven away.
I really hope Chris Bassitt is OK this looks terrifying pic.twitter.com/G5gpnoMtsA— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) August 18, 2021
Bassitt’s teammates stood and watched in horror while the trainers helped him, and the entire stadium of opposing fans fell into stunned silence. There was a subdued applause of encouragement for their fellow human as he was carted away.
Chris Bassitt eventually left the field on a golf cart after getting hit in the head by a comebacker pic.twitter.com/n5NNIx7Pzn— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) August 18, 2021
Oakland broadcaster and former pitcher Dallas Braden offered the following words on Twitter:
“There’s nothing scarier as a pitcher. It’s a thought you eliminate from your mind each time you take the mound. You can’t let it creep in. Not for a minute. Should this day come you just hope you wake up. I am sick to my stomach. Please keep Bass in your thoughts tonight.”
Or to put it more succinctly:
Dear god— Dallas Braden (@DALLASBRADEN209) August 18, 2021
The A’s and White Sox will play the rest of their game tonight, but it’s difficult to focus on that at this point. All thoughts are on Bassitt right now.
Honestly. You know how I feel about the A’s.— Brodie Brazil (@BrodieNBCS) August 18, 2021
But kind of difficult to think about or get tremendously invested in a baseball game at this moment.
The team gave this initial update.
Chris Bassitt is conscious and aware, and is on his way to the hospital. We will provide additional information when possible.— AthleticsPR (@AthleticsPR) August 18, 2021
After the game, manager Bob Melvin provided a more detailed update.
“Bass is conscious, he was the entire time. We don’t think the eye is a problem at this point. It felt like it was below it. He’s got some cuts, they had to do some stitches. He’s in a scan, and we’ll know more about potential fractures tomorrow or later tonight, we don’t know right now.”
UPDATE: Wednesday morning, the team sent a press release with new info.
“Chris was released from Rush University Medical Center last night. He received stitches for two facial lacerations and was diagnosed with a displaced tripod fracture in his right cheek that will require surgery. An exam of his right eye was normal for vision and no other damage is currently noted in the eye or the orbital bone. In addition, a head CT scan revealed no further injury. We are grateful to the White Sox, their medical staff, and the doctors and nurses at Rush for their excellent care. We’ll have more information on Chris as it becomes available.”
Analysis from Dr. Nirav Pandya of UCSF: “Any facial injury that requires surgery is not minor but the lack of a head injury as well eye injury is huge.”
Thinking of Chris Bassitt…He’s firmly at the top of the depth chart of people in this game. Wishing nothing but the best for him.— Brett Anderson (@_BAnderson30_) August 18, 2021
UPDATE: Wednesday afternoon, the team placed Bassitt on the 10-day injured list.
He will have surgery next Tuesday to repair his facial fracture, near the right cheek area, reports insider Martin Gallegos:
“A’s trainer Nick Paparesta says team is looking at Tuesday for Chris Bassitt’s surgery to repair the bones near the cheek area. There’s a typical six-week timeline for the bones to heal. He could return to physical activity after 10 days. They’ll take it week to week, though.”
Regarding the chance of Bassitt returning to pitch this season, GM David Forst said the following, via Gallegos: “Obviously, baseball is secondary right now. We won’t rule anything out at this point. We will provide updates as time goes on.”
From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank the @whitesox and @Athletics staff, front offices, and owners. The support my family and I’ve received has been overwhelming. I’d also like to thank Rush University Medical Center and their staff. God is good. Can’t wait to get back!— Chris Bassitt (@C_Bass419) August 18, 2021